The My Documents folder is your own personal folder in which you can store your documents, graphics, and other personal files. When there is more that one person using the computer, Windows creates a My Documents folder for each user on the computer.

By default, the target or actual location of the My Documents folder is C :Documents and Settings user name My Documents, where C is the drive in which Windows is installed, and user name is the currently logged-on user. You can change the target if you want My Documents to point to a different folder location.

Change the Default Location of the My Documents Folder

To change the default location of the My Documents folder, follow these steps:

Click Start, and then point to My Documents.

Right-click My Documents, and then click Properties. Click the Target tab. In the Target box, do one of the following:

Type the path to the folder location that you want, and then click OK . For example, D:My Stuff . If the folder does not exist, the Create Message dialog box is displayed. Click Yes to create the folder, and then click OK.

-or-

Click Move , click the folder in which to store your documents, and then click OK twice. If you need to create a new folder, click Make New Folder. Type a name for the folder, and then click OK twice. In the Move Documents box, click Yes to move your documents to the new location, or click No to leave your documents in the original location.

Restore the My Documents Folder to Its Default Location

To restore the My Documents folder to its default location, follow these steps:

Click Start , and then point to My Documents. Right-click My Documents, and then click Properties. Click Restore Default, and then click OK. In the Move Documents box, click Yes to move your documents to the new location, or click No to leave your documents in the original location.

Remove the My Documents Folder from the Start menu

If you do not want to display My Documents on the Start menu, follow these steps:

Right-click Start, and then click Properties. Or, if the Start menu is already displayed, right-click an empty area of the Start menu, and then click Properties. Click Customize. Click the Advanced tab.

In the Start menu items list, under My Documents, click Don’t display this item, and then click OK twice. The next time you click Start, the My Documents folder is no longer displayed on the Start menu.

NOTE: Removing the My Documents folder from the Start menu does not remove the files stored in the target location of the My Documents folder.

Display the My Documents Folder on the Start menu

To display My Documents on the Start menu, follow these steps:

Right-click Start , and then click Properties . Or, if the Start menu is already displayed, right-click an empty area of the Start menu, and then click Properties. Click Customize. Click the Advanced tab. In the Start menu items list, under My Documents , click Display as a link or Display as a menu , and then click OK twice. The next time you click Start , the My Documents folder is displayed on the Start menu.

Remove Shared Documents

Start/Run/Regedit. Navigate to…
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMyComputerNameSpace
DelegateFolders{59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee} Right Click, Delete.

To Set the My Documents Folder to Private

On the Start menu, right-click My Documents, and then click Properties. Click the Sharing tab, and then click to select the Make this folder private so that only I have access to it check box. Click Apply, and then click OK .

Note: You cannot make your folders private if your drive is not formatted as NTFS.

Home Edition: Set Permissions for Shared Files and Folders. Boot into safe mode and logon to the ‘Administrator’ account. Right click the folder in question/Sharing and Security/Make Folder Private.

To view the Security tab for a file or folder in XP, hold down the Ctrl key while right-clicking the file or folder, and select Properties. If you are in a domain instead of a workgroup, this approach is unnecessary.

You Cannot Select the “Make This Folder Private” Option

Hide Files and Folders inside of Windows XP

Windows Explorer/Tools/Folder Options/View/Show Hidden Files and Folders. Right click the folder to be hidden/Sharing and Security/General Tab/Hidden/Apply Changes to…/

Hide Your Private Folders with Folder Guard

Hide your private files and folders from other users. Restrict access to important system files and be in full control of the way your files and programs are used by other users of your computer.

Take Ownership of Your Files and Folders

Windows Explorer/Locate the file or folder in question/Right Click/Properties/Security/Advanced/Owner Tab. In the change owner box, click new owner.

[To Display the Security Tab: Start/Settings/Control Panel/Appearance & Themes/Folder Options. View/Advanced
and clear “Use Simple File Sharing”.]

You can transfer ownership in two ways:

The current owner can grant the Take ownership permission to others, allowing those users to take ownership at any
time.

An administrator can take ownership of any file on the computer. However, the administrator cannot transfer ownership
to others. This restriction keeps the administrator accountable.

Note: In Windows XP Professional, the Everyone group no longer includes the Anonymous Logon group.

Permission Denied When Trying to Delete Folders/Files

Windows Explorer/Tools/Folder Options/View/Unmark “Use Simple File Sharing”. Right click the folder/file in question/Properties/Security/Advanced/Owner/Set Permissions.

Folder Permissions

To set, view, change, or remove file and folder permissions:

1. Click Start, click My Computer, and then locate the file or folder for which you want to set permissions.
2. Right-click the file or folder, click Properties, and then click the Security tab.
3. Use one of the following steps:

– To set permissions for a group or user that does not appear in the “Group or user names” box, click Add, type the name of
the group or user for whom you want to set permissions, and then click OK.
– To change or remove permissions from an existing group or user, click the name of the group or user.

4. Use one of the following steps:

– To allow or deny a permission, click to select either the Allow or Deny check box in the “Permissions for <User or
Group>” box, where <User or Group> is the name of the user or group.
– To remove the group or user from the “Group or user names” box, click Remove.

Important: If you are not joined to a domain and want to view the Security tab:

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Click “Appearance and Themes”, and then click Folder Options.
3. Click the View tab, and then click to clear the “Use simple file sharing [Recommended]” check box in the “Advanced
settings” box.

Notes:

– The Everyone group does not include the Anonymous Logon permission.
– You can set permissions only on drives formatted to use the NTFS file system.
– To change permissions, you must be the owner or have permissions to change permissions by the owner.
– Groups or users that are granted Full Control for a folder can delete files and subfolders in that folder, regardless of the
permissions that protect the files and subfolders.
– If the check boxes in the “Permissions for <user or group>” box are shaded or if the Remove button is unavailable, then
the file or folder has inherited permissions from the parent folder. For more information about how inheritance affects files
and folders, see Windows Help.
– When you add a new user or group, by default, the user or group has Read & Execute, List Folder Contents, and Read
permissions.

How Inheritance Affects File and Folder Permissions

After you set permissions on a parent folder, new files and subfolders that are created in the folder inherit these permissions. If you do not want the files and folders to inherit permissions, click “This folder only” in the “Apply onto” box when you set up special permissions for the parent folder.

If you want to prevent only certain files or subfolders from inheriting permissions,
right-click the file or subfolder, click Properties, click the Security tab, click Advanced, and then click to clear the “Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child objects. Include these with entries explicitly defined here” check box.

If the check boxes are not available, the file or folder has inherited permissions from the parent folder. There are three ways to make changes to inherited permissions:

– Make the changes to the parent folder so that the file or folder inherits the permissions.
– Click to select the opposite permission (Allow or Deny) to override the inherited permission.
– Click to clear the “Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child objects. Include these with entries explicitly
defined here” check box. When you do this, you can make changes to the permissions or remove the user or group from
the permissions list. However, the file or folder does not inherit permissions from the parent folder.

In most cases, Deny overrides Allow unless a folder inherits conflicting settings from different parents. When this occurs, the setting that is inherited from the parent that is closest to the object in the subtree has precedence.

When you use the Deny and Allow settings, note that:

– Allow permissions are cumulative, so a user’s permissions are determined by the cumulative effect of all of the groups to
which the user belongs.
– Deny permissions override Allow permissions. Use caution when you apply Deny permissions.

Inheritable permissions are only inherited by child objects. When you set permissions on the parent object, you can decide whether folders or subfolders can inherit them with the “Apply onto” setting.

You can determine which permissions a user or group has on an object if you view the effective permissions.

To View Effective Permissions on Files and Folders

To view effective permissions on files and folders:

1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Windows Explorer.
2. Locate the file or folder for which you want to view effective permissions.
3. Right-click the file or folder, click Properties, and then click the Security tab.
4. Click Advanced, and then click the Effective Permissions tab.
5. Click Select.
6. In the Name box, type the name of a user or group, and then click OK. The check boxes that are selected indicate the
effective permissions of the user or group for that file or folder.

Notes:

– The calculation does not use the following Security Identifiers settings:
Anonymous Logon, Authenticated Users, Batch, Creator Group, Creator Owner, Dialup, Enterprise Domain Controllers, Everyone, Network, Proxy, Restricted, Self, Service, System, and Terminal Server User. An example of these settings
is if a user tries to remotely access a file.

– The Effective Permissions tab displays information that is calculated from the existing permissions entries. Therefore, the
information that is displayed on that page is read-only and does not support changing a user’s permissions if you select or
clear permission check boxes.

Manage Shared Files and Folders by Using Computer Management

The Computer Management tool offers a convenient way to manage and view security settings for files and folders. For more information about security and permissions, click Help on the Computer Management toolbar.

To start the Computer Management tool:

1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Administrative Tools.
2. Click Computer Management, and then click Shared Folders.
3. Double-click Shares to view a list of shared folders. Note that each volume on your computer that is shared displays a
dollar sign ($) after the name of the share. These shares are hidden, administrative shares that you cannot modify.
4. Double-click a shared folder to view the security settings for that folder.

Troubleshooting

If the Security tab is not available and you cannot configure permissions for users and groups:

– The file or folder that you want to apply permissions to is not on an NTFS file system drive. You can set permissions only
on drives that are formatted to use the NTFS file system.
– Simple file sharing is enabled. By default, simplified sharing is enabled in Windows XP unless you are on a domain. To work
around this behavior, disable Simplified Sharing.

Home Folders and My Documents

In Windows XP, the My Documents folder is an alternative for home folders but does not replace them. When a user tries to save or open a file, most programs determine whether to use the home folder or My Documents in one of two ways:

If a file with  *.doc or *.txt extension is found, the program opens the home folder and ignores My Documents. If a file of that type is not found, the program opens My Documents. In other programs, the home folder is ignored, regardless of whether the home folder contains any files.

When Windows XP is installed over a version of Windows NT, programs that have stored documents in the home folder will continue to open and save documents in the home folder. However, if the program is installed after Windows XP was installed, or if the program was never used to create a file in Windows NT, the program uses My Documents to open and save files.

My Computer Icon Displays My Documents Folders of Other User

Create a NoSharedDocuments string value in the following registry key and set the data value to 1.

For All Users:  Start/Run/Regedit
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer

For Only Users That Are Logged on to the Computer:  Start/Run/Regedit
HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer

Cannot Move or Rename the Documents and Settings Folder
Information here.

Windows XP Professional File Sharing

How to set up your Windows XP Professional computer to share its disks and folders with other Windows computers on a network, give access to desired users, and keep other users out. 

If you want to limit the Documents list: MaxRecentDocs

Specifies the number of shortcuts displayed on the Recent Documents submenu.  Note: use Dword – decimal value (default=15) [several different examples below]

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer]
“NoRecentDocsHistory”=dword:00000000
“NoRecentDocsMenu”=dword:00000000
“ClearRecentDocsOnExit”=dword:00000000
“NoRecentDocsNetHood”=hex:01,00,00,00
“MaxRecentDocs”=dword:00000014

You can get XP to Export in “REGEDIT4” format (but not default).  Click the Save As type drop-down arrow and select:
“Win 9x/NT4 Reg Files (*.reg)”

My Documents Folder is Open in Windows Explorer

Tip: Start/Run and enter: “”explorer.exe/n,/e,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}”” from command, or
make a shortcut.

Tip: Start/Run/EXPLORER.SCF

Change the Windows Explorer Default Startup Folder

Click Start/All Programs/Accessories, and then right-click Windows Explorer. On the menu that appears, click Properties.

In the Target box, append the “/root” command-line switch to the “%SystemRoot%Explorer.exe” command, using the startup location that you want. For example, if you want Windows Explorer to start at the root of drive C, edit the command to the following:   %SystemRoot%Explorer.exe /root, C:.  To have C open expanded: explorer /n,/e,c:

For it to open to My Documents:

explorer /n,/e,%HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%My Documents.  (Explorer /root, c:Documents and Settings%username%My Documents).

To Stop Windows Explorer from opening My Documents

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon.  In the right pane under Userinit, Change the key that reads:  C:WindowsSystem32Userinit.exe,C:WindowsSystem32Userinit.exe To: C:WindowsSystem32Userinit.exe,

My Documents Folder Opens Upon Boot

Another checkpoint:  In the right pane, check your settings under Load:  Start/Run/Regedit

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWindows

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